The bread in the picture is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and as you can see I am clearly trying to perfect the shaping of that bread. I think more flour is needed because it is a bit too floppy to shape properly. I did add some granulated garlic, kalongi seeds, minced dried onion, sesame seeds on top for more flavor. I also replaced about a cup of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Click here to visit Artisan Bread in Five...
Calamari has been a big learning thing for me. The first time I made it - it was greasy and gooey. I would like to pass along some tricks for making it tender, crisp and delicious. Each time I have made it I have discovered another way to perfect them. It has taken a long time of trial and error but I feel a whole lot more confident about it now.
If you don't want to fry your calamari go here to this absolutely delicious dish of calamari.
I buy my calamari cleaned with no heads but still in the body shape of a tube. I cut the tentacles away and set them aside to fry separately (usually my last set of frying batch). I cut the tubes into uniform sized rings.
Defrost (because I buy mine frozen) thoroughly and pat dry. It doesnt have to be perfectly dry because you want the flour to stick. Mainly you just want the excess water gone.
Fill a deep frying pan with about 3 inches of oil (more if you are frying a lot). Heat oil to 350F. You really want to take the oils temperature. It makes a huge difference in your outcome. To low and they will absorb a lot of grease and toughen because you will have to cook them longer. Too high and they will burn before they are cooked.
While the oil is heating up get a plastic bag or a paper bag nad put about a cup of flour in it. Place the calamari in the bag of flour and shake. Make sure it is a big enough bag that you can really get them tossing in there. You want a light coating of flour. You can season the flour if you like. Do the tentacles separately because you want to keep them separate for frying.
Place your first round of calamari in the pan. Not too much calamari at a time- overcrowding will cause too much of a temperature drop and it won't cook evenly either. You want space around the rings so they can fry perfectly. A perfect way to tell it is ready (besides the thermometer) is to put one in - if it bubbles up and fries all around immediately then the temp is good.
While those delicious morsels of the sea are frying up, line a cookie sheet with paper towel on it to place the calamari on. If you like you can warm up the oven on the lowest possible setting to keep them warm while you fry the rest. For me this doesn't matter because my husband really doesn't like his food piping hot anyway.
It is at this point when I lay them on the paper towel that I season them. I put a light dusting of granulated garlic on them and salt them. Next time I think I will try Lawry's Seasoning (No- I am not paid to say that).
One last thing, make sure your oil is back to 350F after each batch because the temperature WILL change. You want each and every batch to come out perfect. Oh, and don't put them in a bowl after frying because they will pile on each other and the bottoms ones wont be so nice after sitting there a while.
So far, I think that is it but after my next batch of calamari, who knows, I may add something else that I learned- maybe to tell you how good season salt tastes on them. But hey, if you try it first. feel free to let me know. I would love to hear about it.